New Delhi: Former finance minister Arun Jaitley passed away at the AIIMS hospital here on Saturday afternoon.
According to a press release put out by the hospital, Jaitley breathed his last at 12:07 pm.
The 66-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader is survived by his wife Sangeeta, daughter Sonali and son Rohan.
Jaitley, an accomplished lawyer who occupied ministerial berths in the NDA-I government in 1999 before going onto become a key member of Narendra Modi’s cabinet in the NDA-II government in 2014, has struggled with health issues over the last year.
In 2018, he underwent a kidney transplant to stave off an infection. Earlier this year, he was diagnosed with soft-tissue cancer just before the Union budget and had to temporarily step down as finance minister.
On August 9, Jaitley was admitted to AIIMS over what media reports said were “breathing difficulties”. At the time, the hospital issued a statement saying that the senior BJP leader was “hemodynamically stable” and that a team of multidisciplinary doctors were supervising his treatment.
Over the last five years, Jaitley emerged as the chief troubleshooter of the NDA-II government, building consensus amongst states over the roll-out of the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in 2017 while shepherding key economic legislation through parliament like the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in 2016.
Multiple political leaders across party lines tweeted their condolences, remembering Jaitley’s contribution to the economy and the Indian polity.
With the demise of Arun Jaitley Ji, I have lost a valued friend, whom I have had the honour of knowing for decades. His insight on issues and nuanced understanding of matters had very few parallels. He lived well, leaving us all with innumerable happy memories. We will miss him!
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 24, 2019
अरुण जेटली जी के निधन से अत्यंत दुःखी हूँ, जेटली जी का जाना मेरे लिये एक व्यक्तिगत क्षति है।
उनके रूप में मैंने न सिर्फ संगठन का एक वरिष्ठ नेता खोया है बल्कि परिवार का एक ऐसा अभिन्न सदस्य भी खोया है जिनका साथ और मार्गदर्शन मुझे वर्षो तक प्राप्त होता रहा।
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 24, 2019
Jaitleyji will always be remembered for pulling the economy out of the gloom and putting it back on the right track.
The BJP will miss Arunji’s presence. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) August 24, 2019
Extremely saddened at the passing away of Arun Jaitley Ji, after a battle bravely borne. An outstanding Parliamentarian & a brilliant lawyer, appreciated across parties. His contribution to Indian polity will be remembered. My condolences to his wife, children, friends & admirers
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) August 24, 2019
Deeply saddened by the tragic passing of my friend&DelhiUniv senior @arunjaitley. We first met when he was at DUSU& I was President of StStephen’sCollegeUnion. Despite political differences we enjoyed a healthy mutual respect&debated his Budget often in LS. A great loss4India pic.twitter.com/RzxO1V6NTV
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) August 24, 2019
My tribute to Arun Jaitley pic.twitter.com/SuqH8jZAAv
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) August 24, 2019